Eye Floaters & Flashes

Eye Floaters & Flashes

Ophthalmology Services

What Are Eye Floaters & Flashes?

As people grow older, the vitreous fluid (that takes the form of a clear gel) that fills up spaces between the retina and the lens begins to shrink. As this fluid shrinks, floaters begin to form and drift through the vitreous fluid. These floaters, described as mini clusters of cells or a gel-esque entity, occasionally enter the front of the retina and appear as dots, specks, lines or circles within our field of vision upon hardening.

Floaters tend to be a common occurrence and happen as we age naturally, especially for those over the age of 50 years. It can often develop into a nuisance by obstructing vision; however, floaters that come with age do not usually require treatment.

What Are Eye Floaters & Flashes?

As people grow older, the vitreous fluid (that takes the form of a clear gel) that fills up spaces between the retina and the lens begins to shrink. As this fluid shrinks, floaters begin to form and drift through the vitreous fluid. These floaters, described as mini clusters of cells or a gel-esque entity, occasionally enter the front of the retina and appear as dots, specks, lines or circles within our field of vision upon hardening.

Floaters tend to be a common occurrence and happen as we age naturally, especially for those over the age of 50 years. It can often develop into a nuisance by obstructing vision; however, floaters that come with age do not usually require treatment.

Flashes on the other hand, manifest in patterns of lighting streaks or spots of light in the patient’s field of vision and occur when there is friction between the vitreous fluid and the retina. Similarly to floaters, it is a natural consequence of ageing; however, flashes also occur following a migraine and can last up to 20 minutes at a time.

When flashes are a result of migraine, they can occur in either one or both eyes and resemble jagged lines similar to a heat wave. Flashes are a fairly common condition for those above the age of 50 or people who experience frequent migraines.

However, chronic and frequent occurrences of floaters and flashes can be indicative of more severe eye complications such as retinal tears or retinal detachment. Floaters and flashes can happen simultaneously or individually as a standalone condition. If left untreated, these conditions can leave lasting damage on a person’s vision.

It is strongly recommended that those experiencing symptoms of floaters and flashes seek consultation from an eye doctor in order to obtain a professional opinion and schedule regular check-ups to identify the presence of other potential eye conditions.

Frequently Asked Questions on Eye Floaters and Flashes

Will Eye Floaters & Flashes Fade Away Over Time?

Eye floaters tend to stick around for an indefinite amount of time; however, it is possible for the condition to gradually improve and become less apparent. This is because the floaters naturally sink into the vitreous fluid before descending into the floor of the eye, where they become mostly unnoticeable to patients. As time passes, your mind adapts to the presence of floaters and will begin to subconsciously ignore them within your field of vision.

As for flashes, you can expect them to disappear within a few months. For flashes that arise via migraines, action is taken to treat the root of the condition that leads to the migraines.

When Should I Take Eye Floaters & Flashes As A Serious Vision Issue?

In most cases, eye floaters and flashes are not associated with a severe eye condition. However, there are still a few noteworthy symptoms that you should be wary about:

  • An increase in the frequency of flashes
  • A silver cloudy area appears in your visual field
  • A noticeable amount of floaters that disrupt your vision
  • A peculiar shadow will consistently appear in your peripheral (side) vision

The above factors may be signalling a more severe complication such as a tear on the retina or retinal detachment, as these symptoms tend to occur when the retina is displaced from the back of the eye.

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What Can I Do To Reduce Or Stop The Bothersome Floaters & Flashes?

Floaters and flashes are generally not thought of as an immediate danger unless it is linked to a severe eye condition. As a result, eye surgeons deem the potential risks of treatment through surgery to outweigh the benefits it can bring.

There are several adjustments to your field of vision that can be made to enable your eyesight in acclimating to the presence of floaters and flashes more quickly.

For example, gaining the necessary amount of sleep can help with managing stress levels and improve migraines which in turn helps with reducing the frequency of flashes. Protective measures such as hyaluronic eye drops that help in combating harsh light and lubricating the eyes can also help alleviate some of the negative effects of floaters and flashes.

Each and every one of EYECENTRIC’s eye health professionals under Bukit Tinggi Medical Centre (BTMC) prioritise the eye health of every one of their patients, going to extensive lengths in evaluating their eyes during eye check-ups and ensuring that their eye health is kept at pristine condition.

In cases where patients suffer from eye floaters and flashes that may be linked to a severe eye condition, our highly skilled ophthalmologists and eye surgeons are proficient in both treating the condition as well as taking preventative measures to avert further complications from recurring.

Prioritising Eye Health at BTMC

It is important to pay attention to the signs that arise as they may be an indication of a serious eye issue. Always consult a medical professional to ensure that your eye health is not affected by any conditions that could be damaging your vision.

At Eyecentric by Bukit Tinggi Medical Centre(BTMC), we prioritise each patient and thoroughly observe their eyes during regular eye check-ups, ensuring their eye health is at peak condition. If a patient is experiencing eye floaters and flashes that may be linked to a severe eye condition, our highly skilled ophthalmologists and eye surgeons have the expertise to not only treat the condition but to also prevent the condition from recurring.

Meet our specialists

Dr M Narendran
Designation
Ophthalmologist & Vitreoretinal surgeon
Specialty
Ophthalmology
 


Dr Chandramalar T. Santhirathelagan
Designation
Ophthalmologist
Specialty
Ophthalmology
 


Dr Suppiah Karuppiah
Designation
Ophthalmologist
Specialty
Ophthalmology